chapter one“Will It Come Out?”


During a portion of a fourteen years experience as an amateur photographer, I always supposed that a good judgment, combined with experience (the latter implying the generous use of time and plates), would eventually enable me to obtain a good negative every time I exposed a plate. … That was my greatest mistake.

… From “My Greatest Mistake”

—by William BullockBulb and Button Magazine, September 1900

Before the vast popularity of digital photography, the loneliest people in the world were probably photographers in darkrooms waiting to see if their negatives turned out the way they had hoped. This is true for photographers still working with film, and an equivalent problem exists when digital ...

Get The Practical Zone System for Film and Digital Photography, 6th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.